Inside the Article:
When we look back at the Detroit Lions 2022 season, we will remember their slow start as they went just 1-6 in their first seven games, but, we will definitely remember the final ten games as they went 8-2 in those games. Possibly the biggest reason why the Lions won eight of their final ten games of the season is that their defense turned things around in a big way. LB Alex Anzalone recently spoke about the defensive turnaround, and he had a great analogy to describe it.
Why it matters
The Lions' defense, according to the advanced DVOA rankings, was absolutely horrendous for the seven weeks of the season, but over their final ten games, they really stepped up.
- The defense ranked No. 32 in Weeks 1-7
- The defense ranked No. 17 in Weeks 9-18
- The defense ranked No. 28 for the entire season
As you can see, the defense was a completely different unit in Weeks 9-18, as the team finished 8-2 in those games.
What analogy did Alex Anzalone make about the Lions' defense?
During a recent appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio, Anzalone made the perfect analogy for the Lions' defense in 2022.
“The way I put it is, you’re early in a semester and you fail the first two or three tests, it’s hard to bounce back from that statistically,” Anzalone told hosts Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller. “If you look at our numbers, I think from Week 9 or Week 10 on, we were really a dominant defense. That’s really a credit to (Lions DC Aaron Glenn) and what he stuck to and really what he changed also, personnel-wise — making hard decisions. Schematically, figuring out how to put our players in really great positions to succeed, myself included.”
“Dominant” may be a little too strong of a word to describe the Detroit Lions' defense over the final 10 weeks, but, there is no doubt about it that it was light years better than it was when the team started off the season with a 1-6 record.